Mahendra Singh Dhoni conceded India's slew of second-innings wickets "was like a landslide we couldn't stop", after England clinched a seven-wicket win - and two-one series lead - on day five of the third Test in Kolkata.
Sitting pretty on 86 without loss in response to the opposition's total of 523 all out, India later slipped to 122-5 - and 247 all out - for their first defeat at Eden Gardens since 1999.
While openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were at the fore of the initial defiance, en route to 49 and 40 respectively, batsmen three through seven managed a mere 44 runs between them - and India's final total would have read considerably worse were it not for a rearguard 91 not out from all-rounder Ravi Ashwin down the order.
He said: "In the second innings, we started losing wickets, nobody was able to soak up the pressure and that's where we lost the game.
"We got off to a very good start, we were batting really well, but we started losing wickets and it was like a landslide we couldn't stop.
"We need to give bowlers a few more runs to bowl at. We haven't scored consistently over 300. On this wicket we should have scored 450 or above. The batsmen who got starts didn't make it matter."
The fourth and final Test gets underway in Nagpur on Thursday, with Dhoni imploring his team to fight back and square the series two-all. They will, however, be without the services of fast bowler Umesh Yadav, who remains sidelined by a lower-back injury.
"We have been in situations like this before. Everybody needs to pull up their socks, give their best, back each other and enjoy the game, because it is difficult, but that's where you show your character," he added.
"Of course the better team won here. England bowled in the right areas, they fielded well. They played well but we need to retaliate."
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